Best Sports Betting Services Know About Regression to the Mean

Mama really does know best. My parents and teachers were right when they assured me that I will apply so much of what I learned in school no matter what path my life follows. I have been a full-time professional pro handicapper since 1988. Before that, I paid my way through college doing such part-time.

Little did I know so many concepts I learned in Philosophy, Logic, Economics and various math and sciences classes would prove so profound.  The concept of “regression to the mean” is a shining example. Its related, but more parochial financial theory of “mean reversion” is imperative in gambling.

The Wikipedia definition sums it up well as it applies to sports investing, “Mean reversion is a mathematical concept sometimes used for stock investing, but it can be applied to other assets. In general terms, the essence of the concept is the assumption that both a stock’s high and low prices are temporary and that a stock’s price will tend to move to the average price over time.”  images

Offshore, Vegas, and outlaw bookmakers have said in near unanimity that gamblers tend to completely overreact to short-term results.

In another example of how we use the oddsmakers own knowledge against them, I always save the final preseason odds on winning divisions, conference, and championships, make obvious adjustments for injuries and compare them to the short term on-field results.

We isolate the disconnected teams. When on-field play is the only reasonable explanation for market inefficiencies, we pinpoint those as teams likely to regress to the mean.

As we have touted previously, the Stassen compilation, which includes Phil Steele’s preseason picks, has also been very valuable in helping us discern market anomalies, but ultimately the sportsbooks own “futures” is the oddsmakers’ best tool for technical analysis.

Of course there will always be season-long disappointments and pleasant surprises. However, teams that level off are more times the rule and not the exception.


About the Author

Grandmaster Sports Handicapper Joe Duffy got his start in the sports handicapping industry with the Dial Sports (Communications Team) audiotext network. It was owned by sportswriter, broadcaster and handicapping pioneer Mickey Charles. Dial Sports was the sister company of the popular Sports Network Wire Service. Upon graduating California University of PA, where he was a play-by-play announcer on student radio station WVCS (now WCAL) and cable channel 29 (now CUTV), he became a full-time sports announcer and handicapper for the Sportsline scorephone network. He learned from NFL legends coach Hank Stram and broadcasting icon Ray Scott the ins and outs of the sports betting world. His Amazing Cadillac Club became the most successful 900-number in sports betting history. He left to become the first General Manager of the Freescoreboard scorephone network broadcast all over North America. His articles have appeared on several dozen websites and hard copy publications. He is now CEO of, the top sports betting site in the world. Email:

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